Loose Floral Watercolour Wreath Tutorial in 5 Easy StepsApr 23, 2020
It's time to learn some loose floral watercolour wreaths in this easy 5-step tutorial.
Hi! It’s Jordan from @lineideas here! I’m super excited to be sharing with you all how I paint my watercolour wreaths! My overall watercolour florals are more abstract and loose instead of realistic. Today, I’ll be showing you how to paint a wreath with pansies, peonies and watercolour leaves! They’re all super simple and easy to follow!
- Watercolour paper (I used Arches 140lb/300gsm cold-pressed)
- Compass (or anything round to draw a circle for the wreath)
- Watercolour paint (I used Reeves Watercolour Paint)
- Round brushes (I used Princeton Heritage and Neptune brushes)
- Water (to clean your brushes)
Step 1: Draw a circle
Draw a circle on your watercolour paper and erase until only light pencil marks can be seen. Drawing a circle helps keep the wreath round. You could definitely still rock an organically shaped wreath too but today, we’re keeping it round. Watercolour is transparent so when your pencil markings are too dark, they will show up and the last thing you want is visible pencil markings ruining your gorgeous florals!
Step 2: Plan your wreath
Planning your wreath helps give you a clear idea of what you’re going to paint and what the wreath is going to look like. For my wreaths, I’ll always have a focal point on each side, and the focal points for today’s wreath are the pansies and the peonies. Imagine if you were to split the wreath into two halves. You want to always try to keep the florals on both sides pretty even (in terms of size and quantity).
As humans, we are all naturally drawn to symmetrical things and when planning wreaths, take advantage of symmetry and keep both halves symmetrical (e.g. both sides have one pansy and one peony each!)
When planning your wreath, also choose the colours that you want to use on your wreath. Experiment with colours that work well beforehand to make sure the colours will later work together to finish off your wreath nicely! Let’s use this wreath I’ve created today as an example. Since my pansies are purple, I’ve decided to pair them with peonies in a light shade of peach. The leaves I painted around the florals were painted in red, purple and blue to complement the colours of the flowers, instead of all just boring green leaves. These colours all worked together and are some of the colours typically seen during spring and autumn!
Step 3: Paint the focal point florals
The focal florals for today’s wreath are pansies and peonies. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to paint them. Pansies are a little more challenging so if you feel they’re too difficult to paint, you can replace the pansies with peonies, just in a new colour! Pinterest is also a great place to get inspiration on more watercolour flowers to paint!
Painting pansies may seem daunting, but it can be broken down into 6 easy steps! This floral painting is inspired by Farah from @paintstobrushes too!
- First, start off by painting two petals mirroring each other with very light diluted purple paint.
- Next, add another two petals to the first two petals! Your painting would now start to look like butterfly wings.
- Moving on, before your butterfly wings dry, grab darker purple paint and start painting onto the sides of the petals (as seen in the third picture in the sequence).
- After your darkened butterfly wings are dry, paint another two petals over them for it to resemble the shape of a pansy.
- After all your petals have dried, use a smaller and finer brush to paint thin strokes within each petal to give it more depth!
- Grab thick and dense yellow paint and paint a bud at the centre of the pansy.
Painting peonies is not nearly as intimidating as painting Pansies! They are great beginner florals to paint, too. Today’s peonies are in a peach colour but don’t be afraid to experiment painting them in different colours (such as red or cream).
- Firstly, start by grabbing yellow paint and painting short strokes (just like in the first image above) and then clean your brush because you are going to use the same brush to pick up a different colour after this.
- Next, load your brush with pink watercolour and paint ‘petal’ strokes around the yellow buds. You should now start to see the peony take shape.
- Lastly, finish it off with a few more petals all around until you get the shape of the flower (just like in the final image)!
Here's a video showing you the painting process for peonies:
Here’s what we’ve painted so far on each side of the wreath:
Step 5: Paint leaves around your florals
Now that we’ve painted our florals, it’s time to paint the leaves because no wreath is complete without the leaves!
Previous images didn’t have the leaves painted in yet but in the image below, where the leaves are all painted around the wreath, you can see how impactful the leaves can be! These leaves might seem small but they are so useful when it comes to filling up empty spaces within your wreath.
Painting watercolour leaves are super simple too! Here’s a quick tutorial on it.
HOW TO PAINT WATERCOLOUR LEAVES
Watercolour leaves are probably the easiest element to paint in a wreath. Watch this video here to see me paint watercolour leaves in two ways.
Method 1: Painted by adding pressure to the brush, creating thicker brush strokes at certain areas to resemble a leaf.
Method 2: Beginner’s method! Draw the shape of the leaf gently using your brush and fill it in later.
TIP: Be a bit messy and spontaneous with the direction of the leaves when painting in your wreath to give it more character and energy. Stiff leaves, all painted in the same direction might seem too repetitive and emotionless.
I’m also currently working on a helpful watercolour leaf resource that can be used to help you in painting multiple watercolour leaf variations! Here’s a sneak peek into what it’s going to look like! It will be available on my Etsy shop soon and you can stay updated on its release by following me on Instagram! There are many other free tutorials over there too!
And there you have it! Remember to take advantage of symmetry, and always plan your wreath beforehand. This will really help take your wreath from beautiful to stunning! Most importantly, have fun because your painting will reflect your emotions.
Hello, I’m Jordan Cliff from @lineideas. I am a modern letterer, watercolour illustrator and on-site event calligrapher. I also have a passion for bullet journaling. This is a hobby which I find very enjoyable and I hope you found today’s tutorial useful. Head over to my Instagram to see all my artwork!
Instagram : www.instagram.com/lineideas